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It has been reported that some 700 international students across Canada are presently facing deportation due to a fraudulent immigration scheme tracing. Although the fraud was committed by fake immigration agents in India, Canadian authorities accepted the papers of these students upon their arrival, leading many to ask why their lives should be turned upside down due to someone else's malintent.
“Immigration dealt with all of us. There are over 700 of us facing the same problem” Karamjit tells North Star. “[Canada's] Immigration gave us the visas, we came through the border, the officer’s checked all our documents, it’s not our fault.” says Rajan. Some students like Karamjit have been in Canada since as far back as 2017. The recent news from Immigration Services has left them with an uncertain future in the country.
Confronting the injustice of their now uncertain situations, on March 30, 2023 groups serving international students, like the Montreal Youth Student Organization and the International Youth Student Organization, rallied international students and workers and their supporters and allies in downtown Toronto outside the office of Immigration Services to demand justice and an end to the deportations.
Only after this protest and the uptick in media coverage that followed it, Canada's Immigration Minister Sean Fraser made a public appearance denying that the number of those facing deportation is as high as 700—claiming "we are aware of a few dozen"— but did not clarify what the actual number is. Protest organizers and those facing deportation themselves reported to North Star that the number 700 was taken from reports that were circulating in the Indian press back home.